Covid-19: the labor inspectorate ensures compliance with health standards

the essential
State services are responsible for informing employers of the company health protocol, but also for monitoring its application to protect the health of employees.

Since Monday January 4, companies and employees have been organizing to meet government requirements.

Three days a week of compulsory telework, four when possible, asked Jean Castex on December 27. A measure to try to stop the exponential transmission of the Omicron variant. And to enforce it, the Minister of Labour, Élisabeth Borne, indicated that she would go from 1,000 to 5,000 labor inspection checks per month at the national level.

A hardening of tone which is intended to be dissuasive, like the administrative fine of €1,000 per employee for recalcitrant companies, still under discussion in Parliament.

Close-up on Tarn-et-Garonne, with Anne Levasseur, departmental director of the DDETSPP (Departmental Directorate for Employment, Labor, Solidarity and Population Protection) and her assistant and labor inspector, Nathalie Augade.

“Employers play the game”

“The employer is bound by a general safety obligation, it is article L. 4 121-1 of the Labor Code”, recalls Nathalie Augade.

It is in this context that the obligation to telework falls, in order to protect the health of employees from Covid-19.

“We ensure the implementation and application of the national protocol in the company”, indicates his colleague. This provides for teleworking, but also barrier gestures, wearing a mask, etc. The DDETSPP therefore distributed it to consular and professional bodies.

“We have produced a sheet to relay the instructions of the Government and those for contact cases, confirms Pascal Roux, president of the Tarn-et-Garonne CCI. A few companies have contacted us for advice, but most manage. The real complexity is to determine who can telecommute”.

A complexity understood by the labor inspectorate: “This is a matter of social dialogue in the company. We are there to support the employer before sanctioning him. But the employers are playing the game, they do not want a cluster”.

No sanction or formal notice

In the department, there have not yet been any sanctions or even formal notice procedures. The labor inspectorate has also recorded fewer complaints than at the start of the pandemic. As for the increase in the number of controls, it is “completely feasible” for the team of 7 agents. They check compliance with the protocol during their usual visits to companies, there is no “special Covid” check.

It is only a reorganization of priorities on local initiative controls.